MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow, left, Lawrence O'Donnell, center, and Chris Matthews take part in a panel discussion at the NBC Universal summer press tour, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Chris Matthews Doesn’t Get Jon Ossoff

There’s been a lot of Democrat and media handwringing in the aftermath of Tuesday’s special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, but one pundit is looking at defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff through a unique lens.

Chris Matthews admitted on his MSNBC show Wednesday that he simply doesn’t get Jon Ossoff. For Matthews, Ossoff’s muddled message was a sticking point.

“It seems to me that there was a lot of progressive hype about a guy who wasn’t running as a progressive, which is another interesting twist to this,” Matthews said. “He was running on basically, let’s get together and be normal or something.”

“I don’t know what the hell he was selling. He wasn’t selling much,” he said.

I can’t help but wonder if other Democrats thought the same thing. When we have leftists calling for Democrats to run further left in a district like GA-6, it’s painfully obvious that Ossoff’s message either didn’t make sense or just didn’t get out there for the public to hear.

It’s clear that Jon Ossoff has the potential to be a player on the political stage for a long time to come, for better or worse. His “I’ll be whatever you want me to be,” blank-canvas campaign may have won him some votes this time, but he’s going to have to make his message crystal clear to have staying power.

Later on in the segment, Matthews turns his confusion and mockery on his guests, calling them out for playing the game that both parties play: a win is a major triumph, while a defeat is abject disaster.

“If it went for Ossoff, you would be jumping up and down, saying how great a victory it was, right? Come on, you’re smiling. I know you’re smiling. I know how people play politics. If you lose, ‘oh, no, big thing.’ If you win, ‘yay!’ I mean, which is it?” Matthews asked.

Kudos to Chris Matthews for calling it like he sees it. We give him a hard time – and rightly so – for sticking blindly close to the talking points, but when he diverts from them, he can be a terrific pundit.

Check out the full video here:

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Chris Queen

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